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BCC gets grant to help visually impaired students

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THE BRONX -

A $200,000 grant to Bronx Community College will provide educational support for students with visual impairments.

School officials say the money will help expand the assistive technology center to include screen readers -- software specifically designed for students who can't see. The grant will also help provide more accessible furniture, according to Maria Pantoja, the college's director of disability services.

City Councilman James Vacca, whose father was blind, also played a role in the initiative.

"When we speak of the disabled, we often do not include the visually impaired community," Vacca says. "So my thrust for the 12 years I've been in the Council is to give voice to those who are visually impaired and to make sure that their needs are met and realized."

William Medina is the assistive technology lab manager at BCC, and a graduate of the school himself.

"I am visually impaired," he says. "I know firsthand the struggles visually impaired students go through, and having the technology available to do your school work is invaluable."

The lab is expected to be ready fall 2018.

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